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Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1 Review

Comic Books

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1 Review

A fun and entertaining Spider-Man comic book that can be read by anyone.

Following the events of The Amazing Spider-Man #800, J. Jonah Jameson is trying to fix his relationship with Peter Parker. It’s been a bumpy ride over the last few years, but now that he knows Parker is Spider-Man, he wants to prove that he can be a helpful friend and use his limited power responsibly. While Jameson forces things a bit, an old rival shows up in an attempt to scare Jameson, and maybe even kill him.

For a series literally named “Peter Parker” it might be confusing to some to dedicate its annual to J. Jonah Jameson, but this is a fantastic character study that looks into what makes Jameson who he is. The story is told through a series of flashbacks as well as a single plot in the present. The flashbacks and present seem disconnected for a while, but once they finally link the story takes a great turn.

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Annuals allow for one shot stories like this, and it allows writers like Zdarsky to tell slightly more mature stories that are not necessarily just Spider-Man punching things. The reader gets to learn a little more about Jameson, even after all these issues. The distancing of Spider-Man from the focus of the narrative makes him easier to relate to. Jameson is the protagonist while Parker becomes the character the story is told through. It is a welcome change for this single issue.

It’s always a pleasure to see Michael Allred’s artwork, and if there was ever a character who went well with his style it’s Spider-Man. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t that much Spider-Man for him to play with, but his style does add to the fun silver age tone the book elicits.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1 Review

In regards to negatives, there aren’t many. Like mentioned, there is a lack of Spider-Man which, in a Spider-Man annual, can upset some people. On top of that, the way the story is paced, it takes a while for things to come together. For the first ten or so pages it does feel a bit like things just happening so a bit of patience is required.

The backup story by Mike Drucker and Chris Bachalo is a pleasantly entertaining look at Peter. While a majority of the annual is devoted to Jameson, Drucker gives readers all the Parker angst they could want. A fun yet melancholic look into what it means to be Spider-Man in a city that desperately wants Moon Knight (a joke that lands two thirds of the time).

It’s a short backup story but manages to say everything it has to in only a few pages. Bachalo’s Spider-Man is a work of beauty sure to divide fans between those who admire style and those who prefer consistency in their artwork. His muted colors work really well with the story in a subtle way. It has that nostalgic quality to it for readers who read Spider-Man in the early 2000s.

Together the two stories offer a fun and entertaining Spider-Man comic book that can be read by anyone. New readers can easily enjoy this as their first Spider-Man comic and long time readers can add this to their collection.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1 Review
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1
Is it good?
A solid Spider-Man comic, perfect for new readers and old.
Engaging plot.
Great artwork.
Fantastic backup story.
Less Spider-Man than expected.
7.5
Good

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